There are simple pleasures that many people enjoy that I’ve never had any propensity with. Playing the piano comes easily to so many people but I’ve tried thousands of times to learn and I still can’t play with any dexterity. I’ve always wanted to play poker like they do in the shoot ‘em up westerns but after studying strategies and card combinations I’m still lost at sea. Another form of recreation I’ve never been able to get the handle of is chess. If I could learn how to play chess well my life would feel a lot more complete.
The coolness factor to chess was further established after watching "The Black Cat" when Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff play a game of chess with the winner deciding the fate of a young girl's soul. And of course, who can forget "The Seventh Seal" with Max Von Sydow playing chess with Death? Even in the world of cinema, Chess Is Forever.
In order to get a better idea of how the big boys (and big girls, too) do it with the board and pieces I went to my favorite search engine YouTube in the hopes I could get a ripping good visual tutorial on how to play this most intellectual of all sports. Well, chess just like any other traditional game has changed a lot. More than I ever imagined.
My first video was a demonstration of the game played by two badass dudes from the Soviet Union, Igor and Gleb (see above). They even titled their video “A Great Chess Tutorial: Two Knights Opening”. After watching their four minute tutorial I still didn’t understand what was going on, probably because they sounded like a pair of fussy cab drivers from Beverly Hills.Chess Boxing
My next tutorial led me to a phenomenon I wasn’t aware of: Chess Boxing. Mostly popular in Germany and Great Britain, the game consists of two bad motherfuckers playing one round of chess to be followed by a round of boxing. There are two ways to look at this: either chess isn’t for nerds anymore or you need a few brain cells to get through a boxing match these days. Whoah!
Another boxing tutorial that uh, piqued my interest was some nerdy girl pin-up teaching me the game whilst striking provocative poses (see below). Unfortunately, the lilting monotony of her voice put me to sleep so I didn’t learn a thing. I also found it amusing that chess nerds commented her lack of terming the pieces properly. I’m not sure this video was that drop-dead serious in teaching the finer points of the game. If “Rachel” had serious intentions, then one of us needs a drink. Badly.
After watching these videos I was just as confused as I was before I clicked on them. I felt like Dennis The Menace in Hollywood when he’s told “it’s all make believe” and his tousled blonde head starts spinning around like he’s trying to grapple with that stark reality. Now if you’ll excuse me, I can feel my tousled black head start to spin around!Chess Tutorial by Rachel